One week from today, the new album from AntiochLIVE, Our God Comes, will be released at World Mandate and on iTunes. We sat down with the brains behind the AntiochLIVE machine, brothers James Mark and Stephen Gulley. (Stephen virtually joined us from San Diego!)
Do you guys have a favorite song from the album?
JMG: Wow, that’s like trying to pick a favorite child. Light me Up is a really fun song to sing. It is the heart of World Mandate. And I think I Will Raise just blows up every time.
SG: Yea, it feels like picking a favorite kid for me too! God and King – I think that with where we are in the songwriting journey, it feels more and more like we can write the songs and sounds that God is writing for this movement. More and more I just want God to get the glory, and that’s the point of these songs. There has just been something lit up in my heart about spreading God’s glory across the earth. And it’s really cool to have One Hundred Three come back in a fresh way 10 years later.
What are you guys listening to right now?
SG: I’m listening a lot to Passion, Let the Future Begin, and specifically the song, Whom Shall I Fear.
JMG: I’ve been listening to the new Hillsong Live album, Glorious Ruins. Stephen and I were able to travel to Hillsong Sydney in 2011. Now it’s like every time they release an album I feel like, “Great job you guys!” I learn from them, and they really just lead us all.
What is the worst song you’ve written, a song you maybe wish you never wrote?
JMG: That’s like asking me who my worst child is… just kidding.
SG: There’s not one that’s been recorded that I hate because we live in community, and we often have people say, “Uhhhh, I don’t know if that one’s going to work.”
JMG: For me it’s probably when I wrote so many songs between the ages of 15 and 18 that nobody ever heard. The things that I feel worst about are things I now know as an experienced songwriter that you never do, but that’s what I did, and people liked the songs then.
Do you guys have any pre-songwriting rituals? Or anything where you feel, “When I’m songwriting, it has to be like this…?”
SG: I instagramed a picture one time captioned “songwriting essentials.” It was us two at a coffee shop, with our warm drinks, only James Mark has his guitar, and we both have Evernote open and some apple device we’re using. Maybe the warm drink is the ritual, but it’s pretty much like that every time.
JMG: Yea it’s pretty much like that. Our ritual really is to connect before we write because that’s who we are as people. We’re both too relational. And maybe it would be better if only one of us was like that so we could get stuff done more quickly, but we’re both like that. We care really deeply about what is going on in each other’s life.
Tell us more about the new album.
JMG: The songs are all a declaration of who God is. We live in a place of greater faith, knowing what God wants to do, so we don’t have to say, “God, will you please come and do this.” Our God Comes declares we know He will not keep silent and that we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living. Not just positive thinking but statements of faith. This is just who He is.
SG: We are calling out, “Our God, come,” not because we are a dry people who didn’t receive, but because we are a people that know He is faithful, that He will always come. Whether to a service or into the life of a family member who is in a broken place or to that friend who has never known the love they have always wanted, our God comes.
As worship leaders, what is World Mandate like for you?
JMG: It’s cool because we get to sing the values of who we are and who God has called us to be. Our desire is to live World Mandate. You know, you can go to World Mandate West or World Mandate East, but the message is always that Jesus has come to set us free, we’ve got to tell the person next door and we’ve got to go the other side of the world. Jimmy sometimes says, “On some level I don’t like Christmas because people only celebrate that Jesus came to save the world for one day. And that should be everyday life – it’s just life to the full!”
This incredible album will be released next Friday, September 20th, at World Mandate and on iTunes. If you haven’t purchased your ticket to World Mandate, it’s not too late! Head on over to worldmandate.com to purchase your ticket now!